Arsenal legend Ian Wright previewed Liverpool's top of the table clash against Leicester City in the Premier League and opined that the Reds face a tough test this weekend. The legendary striker is one of the most popular television pundits around and spoke candidly about how Liverpool's defensive frailties could haunt them against Brendan Rodgers' side.
Jurgen Klopp's reigning champions have been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks and could be without nine first-team players. The Liverpool backline, in particular, is paper-thin at the moment, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold unavailable for the foreseeable future.
While Wright admitted that the game could be a tough one for Liverpool, he also said that it would be a massive statement of intent if the Reds somehow manage to secure a victory.
“This is a real test for Liverpool simply because of who is missing. They haven’t got any of their back-four playing."
“But what I love about Liverpool is they’re not looking to buy anybody in January and the way they don’t panic. We know Mohamed Salah isn’t playing but they’ve got Diogo Jota there who can play in any of those three places up front."
“If they can beat this Leicester team – which I think is going to be very tough simply because of what Leicester do, who they have, Vardy scoring against the top teams, [James] Maddison didn’t get picked for England, [Youri] Tielemans… the Liverpool midfield are going to have to be right on it."
Liverpool winning would bring their elite mentality to the forefront, says Wright
With Joel Matip the only senior fit central defender at the moment, the likes of Nat Philipps and Rhys Williams are in contention to play at the heart of the defense. Wright singled out Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy as the danger man and opined that Liverpool have their work cut out for them to contain the former England international.
“If Liverpool don’t close down that midfield and Vardy’s able to penetrate a high line that doesn’t have the main guys in it, we’re talking about something that could be quite painful."
“If Liverpool can get through this test with that back-four, and then maybe Jota coming up with the goods, you have to say that they are elite, mentally and physically.”
Liverpool can return to the top of the Premier League standings with a victory, but the Foxes are in fine form and are expected to give them a run for their money at Anfield.
Published 20 Nov 2020, 11:55 IST